There are dozens of discount shopping apps -- and for good reason too. "There just aren't too many other savings options available," says Shannon Vissers, retail analyst for MerchantMaverick.com, a comparison website that reviews small business products and services. Other than shopping sales or searching for paper coupons, which have declined in number in recent years, apps and browser extensions are the main option for deal seekers.
The best shopping apps to save money include a mix of options that provide digital coupons, deal alerts, cash back and other perks. To maximize savings, Vissers recommends using a rewards credit card along with an app to get additional cash back, points or miles. Here are some of the best discount shopping apps available today:
-- Your Favorite Store's App. -- The Krazy Coupon Lady. -- Coupon Cabin.
-- Flipp. -- Retail Me Not. -- Honey.
-- Pricepulse. -- Fetch Rewards. -- Ibotta.
-- Dosh. -- Rakuten. -- Raise.
[READ: How to Create Your Own Stimulus Check.] Your Favorite Store's App The very first app you should download is the one for whatever store you shop at most often.
Many major grocery chains, such as Meijer, Kroger and Albertsons, have mobile apps that make it easy to clip digital coupons, earn points for rewards and browse sale items. "Target probably has the best one because it's easy to use and lets you save offers on your phone," Vissers says. "(Those) are then automatically redeemed when you pay either online or at the point of sale." Discount shopping apps aren't limited to grocery stores either so check for money saving apps from any of your go-to retailers.
The Krazy Coupon Lady If you aren't loyal to a specific store, The Krazy Coupon Lady app can help you find the best deal on the products you love. The app allows users to set up alerts for favorite brands and products and includes information about rebates, coupons and other promotions.
You can personalize alerts to receive notifications on your phone about deals, and The Krazy Coupon Lady also includes tips to maximize savings. The shopping list feature will save deals by store to make them easy to track and retrieve. CouponCabin
CouponCabin can be used to find deals online and in stores. The app can find online promo codes or be used to download in-store coupons that can be scanned at the register. Plus, CouponCabin awards up to 20% cash back on eligible purchases from its 3,500 cash back partner sites.
If you like freebies, the app also includes a feature to allow you to find and claim those as well. In addition to its app, CouponCabin is available as a browser extension. Flipp
Weekly runs to the grocery store may be easier with the use of Flipp. The app lets you browse the ads of more than 2,000 stores, load coupons to your loyalty cards and create digital shopping lists. It may be the ideal solution for those who enjoy hunting for deals themselves but want to streamline the process.
In addition to grocery stores, Flipp includes ads for department stores, hardware stores and specialty shops. Shopping lists can be synced across multiple devices, making this a good app for partners who share shopping duties. RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot started out as a website where people could share and search for coupon codes, but it has since expanded to offer a browser extension and app as well. Regardless of how you access RetailMeNot, the company provides a simple way to find deals and even earn cash back. "Shoppers don't always have the time to hunt down promo codes and offers, especially with items selling out quickly," says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert for RetailMeNot. "The RetailMeNot Deal Finder applies the best discounts and cash back offers for your favorite retailers automatically at checkout so you don't have to." She adds that customers save an average of £20 per purchase when using the service.
[See: 10 Best Expense Tracker Apps.] Honey For online shopping, Vissers likes Honey, which is available as both a browser extension and an app. "It automatically pulls coupon codes from around the web to make sure you get the lowest price," she says.
What's more, on Amazon, it will notify shoppers if an item is cheaper from another seller. If a product isn't priced right, Honey can add it to a droplist and notify you when the price goes down. Honey also awards Honey Gold members for eligible purchases.
Those rewards can be redeemed for gift cards or cash via PayPal. "There are also fewer security risks with Honey and an easier sign-up because they do not collect any personal information or credit card information," Vissers notes. Pricepulse Pricepulse is one of the best discount shopping apps for Amazon deals.
Also available as a browser extension, Pricepulse can provide the price history of Amazon products and advise on whether now is the time to buy or if a lower price could be coming. Users can also create a watchlist that will send notifications when a price drops. If you are interested in browsing the best Amazon deals, Pricepulse can help with that too.
In addition to showing the current hottest deals, the app can show users the top products from the past day or month as well as the best deals of all time. Fetch Rewards There are several money saving apps that allow users to scan receipts in order to earn cash back and rewards.
Among them, Fetch Rewards may be the easiest to use. Simply sign up and scan receipts from any store to earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Purchasing specific brands, referring friends or redeeming special offers can all provide additional points.
Among the receipt-scanning apps, Vissers likes Fetch Rewards best because it requires no upfront planning on the part of shoppers. Other apps may require you to clip offers before scanning a receipt, but Fetch awards points automatically. Ibotta
While Ibotta is a popular app to earn cash back from purchases, it does require a little more work on the part of shoppers. Users need to look for offers and add them to their account before redeeming for cash back. Offers may be brand specific or apply to a generic purchase, such as a type of fruit.
Shoppers can choose from thousands of offers available at more than 2,000 retailers. They include grocery stores, travel providers, specialty shops and more. Ibotta can be linked to loyalty accounts and be used both in-store and online.
In addition to its app, Ibotta is available as a browser extension. Dosh Dosh is another relatively hands-off way to save money. "After you sign up for Dosh and link a credit card, you will automatically receive cash back when you shop Dosh-partnered stores using your linked card," Vissers says.
There's no need to save offers on your phone or account first. Shoppers can earn cash back at more than 10,000 retailers and restaurants. The company also advertises up to 40% cash back on stays at more than 600,000 hotels globally.
Cash back earned in Dosh can be redeemed for cash or donated to charity. [See: 9 Best Personal Finance Books.] Rakuten
Longtime deal seekers will remember Ebates as one of the original websites for earning cash back for online purchases. The site's name changed to Rakuten a few years ago, but it remains a prime place to earn shopping rewards and it now has an app too. "The Rakuten mobile app is by far the best way to shop, especially on the go," says Kristen Gall, Rakuten's retail and shopping expert. "You can snag the latest deals, get in-store coupons, earn app-exclusive cash-back offers and much more -- all through the app."
Rakuten offers cash back at more than 2,500 stores as well as at restaurants and on travel. The company's browser extension will also automatically apply money-saving coupons when available. Cash back can be redeemed either by check or via PayPal.
Raise Using a discounted gift card to pay for a purchase can be an overlooked money-saving strategy, but Raise makes it easy to put into practice. The website -- and its app -- can be used to search for discounted gift cards from more than 4,000 brands, including big names like Lowe's, Old Navy and Target.
"You can even use Raise to 'deal stack' your savings on top of other coupons, store promotions and credit card rewards," says Raise CEO Jay Klauminzer. "Raise also has a one-year money-back guarantee, so you can shop with confidence." If a discounted gift card is not available, you may be able to earn cash back for the purchase of a gift card at face value from more than 150 retail partners. Most gift cards on Raise are delivered electronically, and the app will store cards so they can be easily accessed and redeemed anywhere.
More from U.S. News Best Buy and Sell Apps for Used Stuff
Update 10/07/21: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.